Today's real estate market is crowded with inventory, so if you want to sell your home, it has to stand out. Staging, or making it appeal to the broadest possible group of people, is one way to do just that.

That means depersonalizing your home so buyers can visualize themselves living in it. Basic staging steps include:

  1. Neutralize—Put away family photos, religious items, collections.

  2. De-clutter—Pack up knick-knacks, clear off countertops, remove up to half your furniture. Consider renting a storage locker until your home sells.

  3. Rearrange—Arrange furniture so buyers can move smoothly through the home. Highlight rooms' focal points, such as fireplaces, with furniture groupings.

  4. Let it shine—Clean or replace carpets, wash or paint walls, pressure-wash siding and decks, and scrub, scrub, scrub—especially in bathrooms and kitchens. Turn on all lights and open drapes for showings.

  5. Landscape—Mow and edge the lawn, trim the hedges, plant flowers. If your yard doesn't look well-maintained, buyers will assume your home isn't and drive on by.

If your funds are limited, spend money where it shows. Buyers form first impressions from your front door and foyer, so make sure they sparkle. Is the doorknob wobbly? The doorbell broken? The doormat shabby? If you're debating replacing carpeting in the entryway or a back hallway, choose the entryway.

Be sure your changes make economic sense, though. Do normal maintenance, such as replacing stained, chipped countertops, but don't install an expensive hot tub.

Consider hiring a professional stager. Realtors can recommend stagers, or you can consult the International Association of Home Staging Professionals' website at iahsp.com. Costs vary, but the National Association of Realtors reports that spending 1% to 3% of your home's asking price will generally yield an 8% to 10% return.

Whether you're fixing up your home for resale, or looking to buy a new home yourself, Sikorsky Credit Union can help. Stop by or call 203-377-2252 today. Complete this simple form and one of our helpful home loan consultants will contact you.


( Photo Credit:  Jupiterimages  /  Stockbyte   / Thinkstock 86492068  )